Lisa Mountain (Youth Coalition for GSL), Pedro Costa (Experience Ambientalia), Jaimi Butler (GSL Scientist)Marcela Castellino (Experience Ambientalia), and Liam Mountain LaMalfa (Youth Coalition for GSL) (Photo: Youth Coalition for GSL/ Lisa Mountain)

In its first year, the Youth Coalition for Great Salt Lake, comprised of about 15 high school and college age students, has accomplished a lot. They are working with organizations and lake stakeholders to raise awareness about the need to protect Great Salt Lake, and advocating for legislation to get more water to the Lake, which is still several feet below its healthy range.

The group, which has big goals to expand, also participates in service projects. They recently helped plant native trees with the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation at the Wuda Ogwa (or Boa Ogoi) restoration site along the Bear River, the lake’s largest tributary. Lisa Mountain calls herself the adult support person for the coalition.

“It’s been incredible, the amount of work and accomplishments that have occurred.”

Listen to the story here.

And that includes going global. Through a program called Experience Ambientalia, a new international environmental education and leadership program that engages youth in environmental stewardship, the coalition is connecting with other youth groups that are trying to save two of Great Salt Lake’s sister lakes.

“One of the groups is from Argentina and they are working to save Laguna Mar chiquita, the other group is working to save Mono Lake in California.

In fact, two members of the Argentina group visited the Utah coalition in Salt Lake City this past week to share ideas and information.

Mountain said plans are in the works to hold events with all three coalitions together, and to have youth exchanges where they can visit each other’s home lakes.

“And we’re very excited about it,” Mountain said.

The ultimate goal, she said, is to create a global youth movement to protect saline lakes.

You can follow their work on Facebook and Instagram.


Utah Public Radio News Director

Related Articles